Utah doctor convicted of sexual battery may get new day in court
A doctor who looked like he was stuck with a sex conviction may get a new day in court thanks to a ruling issued Friday.
Raymond Bedell’s seemingly unlikely victory came down from the Utah Supreme Court, which ordered a lower court to take another look at his case. The ruling comes just a month and a half after the Supreme Court ruled against Bedell, upholding his conviction on one count of class A misdemeanor sexual battery.
Bedell earned that conviction at the conclusion of a jury trial in 2008. The case began in 2003, when a woman came to Bedell — a Cache County osteopath specializing in pain — with knee problems. Bedell prescribed medication for the woman, court documents say, but also fondled her breasts and pressed himself against her. The woman abused the drugs she received and eventually ended up in jail for prescription fraud and violating probation. While behind bars, the woman told investigators that Bedell had molested her.
The Utah Court of Appeals later reversed Bedell’s conviction, but that victory for Bedell was undone by the Supreme Court’s December ruling.
Kenneth Lyon, Bedell’s attorney, said Friday that the new decision came about because he raised two issues during the initial appeal. First, he argued that Bedell’s original attorneys were ineffective. And second, he argued that newly discovered evidence should have been allowed in the trial.
The Court of Appeals only looked at the first issue, saying that Bedell deserved a new trial based solely on his ineffective lawyer. The Supreme Court disagreed and reinstated his conviction.
But according to Lyon, neither court actually looked at his second argument: the new evidence.
As a result, Lyon asked the Supreme Court to consider that point. Friday’s decision does exactly that, ordering the appeals court to decide if new evidence in the case should be allowed. According to court documents, the new evidence was going to be used by Bedell’s attorneys to show that an investigator had "uncritically" accepted the allegations. Attorneys also hoped to use it to show that the accuser was "engaging in copycat behavior accusing [Dr.] Bedell of misbehavior because she knew that he was already being accused by others," the documents add.
Lyon said the ruling was a good thing for Bedell and he expressed optimism that he would prevail.
The Utah assistant attorney general who worked on the case was out of the office Friday and could not immediately be reached for comment.
Bedell has continued to practice medicine. Documents from the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) show that his licence was revoked in 2010. However, later that year DOPL suspended that revocation, allowing him to resume working.